“Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23, 24)
Christians are humble servants of the Lord. We understand and accept the designation of a servant doing the will of the Master. Christians do not pursue the trappings of worldly, self centered aggrandizement but instead look unto the Father for all their needs. Such a way of life is counter to the present culture which places emphasis on personal achievement and self-sufficiency.
But such a life of humility must never be thought empty or depressing. Indeed Christians have much to boast about. It’s just that our boasting is centers not on ourselves, but on Christ who won the victory for us.
There is an instructive passage in Deuteronomy which highlights a part of the relationship we have with Jehovah. It was spoken to Israel through Moses. And although we are millennia removed from that moment and serve under a new and better covenant (Hebrews 9:11-14), Israel serves as a type of the church. Hear what God said to Israel and make the application to the church today.
“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 7:6-9)
There was no reason to choose the Israelites from among all the nations of the world – at least no obvious human reason. In fact, at the time God made promises concerning them they did not even exist (Genesis 12:1-3, 7). They were chosen because God wanted to choose them. There was nothing in their size, might or wealth that influenced him. He chose them just like he chooses the church today. We do not deserve redemption. We deserve to be eternally punished. But created the church just as he created Israel and populates the church with the saved. That is, the church is made up of those who are obedient to the faith (Acts 6:7; Romans 1:5) not those so important in the world to deserve salvation.
It is because of this gracious redemption in Christ alone (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) that we can boast. Again, our boast is not in anything we have done but in what Christ has done. As Jeremiah said, it is not about wisdom, might or riches but solely in God. It is the love, grace and mercy of God we shout from the rooftops, not our own accomplishments.